Rebecca Compton

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Haverford College

My research falls into the subfields of cognitive neuroscience and affective neuroscience, meaning that I’m interested in how the brain implements higher-level thinking, such as perception, attention, and decision-making, as well as how emotional factors affect those higher-level functions.

My lab uses EEG methodology, which measures electrical activity from the scalp surface in people and attempts to discern clues about brain functioning from those brainwaves. We also use eye-tracking, which can measure where gaze is directed as people look at images on a computer screen. These methods can help us to study how attention is allocated to different kinds of meaningful information. Ultimately, I am interested in understanding more about the self-regulatory functions of the brain (often referred to as “executive functions”) and how those intersect with attention, emotion, individual differences, and life experiences.

Professor Rebecca Compton speaking with one of her students, Katelyn Mann ’24, wearing an EEG cap. Photo by Patrick Montero

I’ve also coauthored a Cognitive Neuroscience textbook with Marie Banich from Cambridge University Press.

Link to textbook site

At Haverford, I teach courses that contribute to the psychology and neuroscience curriculum, including an intermediate-level course in Cognitive Neuroscience, a Cognitive Neuroscience laboratory course that focuses on EEG methods, a seminar on Neuroscience and Society, and a laboratory course in eye-tracking methods. I’ve also contributed to teaching Foundations of Psychology and Research Methods and Statistics.

For more information, please see my full CV.